This article resonated with me as I recently had an employee tell me that their start as a new hire was not smooth and provided a couple suggestions for our continuous improvement of our processes. This article, included some of the same things I experienced.
It has been condensed and I encourage you to read it and then assess your own organization and its processes to ensure the best possible experience for your new hires.
In a tight tech talent market, a poorly planned or executed onboarding process can quickly inspire a new hire to jump ship to another offer.
Imagine yourself as the newest hire in IT, and on day one, you have no computer, no login or an incorrectly spelled email address. It happens. And when new employees don’t have a sense of their place in the business — or just don’t have a desk — it dramatically reduces their long-term chance of success in their new workplace.
IT leaders and other experts relayed some of the worst workplace mistakes they had witnessed, including onboarding nightmares that left new hires feeling isolated, unsuccessful, and even with regret about taking the position. These pros also offered advice on how to get ahead of the process and greatly improve the chances of leaving a new hire feeling connected to the organization with a clear understanding of their role.
- Leave a hole in the chain of command
The first few weeks are a time to tap into the enthusiasm and energy of a new hire – we don’t want a person to feel left out to dry.
- Withhold vital equipment
Make sure your new hire has the tools and resources they need on day one.
- Leave them in the lurch
In some instances, a new hire gets left out of the flow of the organization, and it goes beyond a forgotten laptop or ID badge. Again, don’t want anyone to feel isolated. As one provided example in the article, as part of my on-boarding process, I set up a “buddy system” as well as “contact a friend” to ensure the new hires have contacts to resources they will need.
- Introduce them to chaos
The onboarding process offers the new hire a peek at the way the company gets things done, so it’s important to set the right tone.
- Firehose them with information
The most frequent complaint from new hires is that they’re overwhelmed with information as they join the team (an information dump and overload all at once).
- Bring out the robots
Hiring processes need to keep up with the times and that includes making sure your onboarding doesn’t turn into a rut for those running the process.
- Wing the welcome wagon
Avoid relying on your IT team’s social skills to make a new hire feel welcome, and get ahead of the game and offer social opportunities into the onboarding experience.
- Skip the 1-on-1s
If you’re continually canceling or rescheduling face-to-face meetings with a new hire, you may unintentionally send a message that the person isn’t important enough for your time.
- Leave no room for mistakes
The worst thing you can do to a new hire is create environment that undermines them by not providing room to grow.
- Forget to set expectations
Be clued in to how quickly a change will be expected. Make sure the culture of the organization is portrayed accurately during the new hire’s first days,
- Snub support
A new hire can be undermined by providing marching orders mixed with a lack of support.
- Be blind to buyer’s remorse
Checking in often is the best and simplest way to set the stage for a positive experience. In a tight market for top IT talent, it’s important to keep in mind that job seekers have plenty of opportunities to go elsewhere.